The Middle of Inbetween (non-writer)
There is a place, between worlds, between dimensions, between universes. There is a place where sometimes people get stuck, where magical creatures
dwell. The middle of Inbetween. Once you are there, you stay. There is no escape. Some enter living, others after passing, but in this world all are
the same – immortal to nature yet vulnerable to the hand of man.
Dread Elves – disgusting, fiendish little creatures. They make your skin crawl yet you can't look away as fast as you would like. Every once in a
while you see one with clothing that seems ancient. Those are the ones to watch out for. Elves don't change clothes for some reason. If you see a
Dread Elf in clothes that look a thousand years old, he is probably a thousand years old. Dread Elves don't live to be a thousand by being
Trick thought about the letter the Tribe had received almost three months ago. Sent by a scout that had been out on a mission of discovery for nearly
a year, it warned of a new threat to the Tribe in the form of a Dread Elf none of the elders were familiar with. Familiar or not, a Dread Elf was a
threat to be dealt with. When facing such a formidable foe knowledge was a strong ally, but, when a Dread Elf was lurking nearby delay was akin to
suicide. This new threat named Whist was an unknown, but also unwelcome.
The cold September wind bit into the Champion’s skin as they traveled down the well used path. The fact that the path was so well used bothered
Trick. ‘Well used’ meant others knew of the path and the chances of being detected were greatly increased the longer they stayed on it. Trick knew
they had no choice though. It had already been nearly three months since the Tribe received the letter. Trying to negotiate the dense underbrush on
either side of the path would slow them down more than he would like. He already had a sinking feeling that this was going to be messy and dragging it
out was not a pleasant thought.
The typical sounds of the forest were not interrupted by the team moving stealthily through the environment. Years of training had paid off well.
Trick thought about the combined effort taking place on this mission. In his capacity as head of the Champions, the people responsible for defending
the Tribe, Trick decided who went on what mission and why. Click and Slick, his best friends and fellow Champions, accompanied him along with Paws and
Claws, two man-beasts with ties to the Tribe and interests in keeping the lands around the Tribe's home safe from threats like Dread Elves. Paws and
Claws were genetic marvels. Paws had features that were Ursine in nature. Strength and ferocity were his greatest characteristics. Claws had the
features of a Feline. Silent, and lightening fast, Claws could strike faster than the eye could follow. And faster than Claws could think, Trick
feared. All were superbly trained and conditioned.
The team was spread out single file with Claws on point. Trick had come to rely on the mutant’s superhuman senses. The Champion’s thoughts were
interrupted by the soft trilling sound that had become all too familiar. It meant Claws had seen something. Sure enough, Claws had dropped to one knee
and was motioning for the others to do the same. Trick had hoped the team could avoid any resistance until they were much closer to the Dread Elf camp
if not within its boundaries.
Trick was on his stomach inching toward Claws’ position with Click several yards in front of him. Without a word, Click jumped up and grabbed Claws
by the scruff of the neck hurling him backwards. The diminutive catman sailed through the air hissing and spitting like a mad roman candle only to
land on his feet and immediately prepare to launch back at Click. Trick, too far away to physically intervene, relied on his booming voice to stop the
“CLAWS!” the Champion bellowed. Claws checked his position but never took his furious eyes off of Click. Most humans would blanch at the thought
of taking on a mutant but not Click. Click’s unparalleled speed and accuracy with the .357’s he had slung around his waist and his willingness to
dispense death at the drop of a hat had earned him the reputation as one of the deadliest men in the Inbetween. A reputation proven well deserved on
countless occasions. In fact, its how he got his name. Click – is about all his opponent heard before the fight was over.
Trick knew that under normal circumstances Click would never draw a gun on a fellow Champion yet something in Click’s eyes told Trick that these
circumstances were anything but normal. Trick turned his gaze back toward Claws just in time to see the furry mutant start to inch forward. Before he
could say anything the sound of a .357 boomed and a thin red line appeared high on Claws’ head amidst a puff of dislodged fur. Blade knew something
was definitely wrong with Click. Even a marksman as skilled as Click could miss. A bad round of ammunition could have made its way into the gunman’s
supplies. Any of a number of unusual things could have taken place that would have resulted in Claws’ death rather than the apparently minor injury
Click intended to give him. Click stood frozen in place with the .357 still pointed at Claws who could only blink in disbelief at how close he had
just come to meeting his own death.
“It was a damn deer!” Click growled. “He could have gotten us all killed just because he was hungry!”
“Hey, its been hours since breakfast,” Claws spat back. “So I was hungry. So what? Where do you get off taking a shot at me? You could have
The mutant had a point. Even the most serious transgressions were not to be dealt with by the use of individual hostility. If a matter was that
serious it was referred to the Tribe's elders to handle. Click was definitely out of line and everyone knew it.
“If I wanted to kill you furball, you’d be dead,” Click rejoined. His gaze seemed to be set in stone as he stood motionless with the .357 in
Trick knew even he wasn’t fast enough to disarm the gunman. Instead he opted to rely on their years of friendship. “Click”, he said softly.
“It’s ok. Put the gun down.” Click stood motionless seemingly ignoring Tricks request. The moment seemed frozen in time and no one dared to draw
a breath for what seemed like an eternity. Then slowly, very slowly, Click lowered the .357 into its holster. Just as the gun hit bottom in the
holster and everything looked like it was heading back to normal both .357's cleared leather faster than the eye could follow and 6 shots boomed so
closely together they almost sounded as one. A strangled gurgle came from a bush roughly twentyfive feet behind Claws and a mangled body fell onto
the path, crimson rivulets striping it's chest, it's nearly severed head flopping to the side at an unnatural angle. Click’s shots had all but
decapitated the hapless victim. A Ruger .44 magnum was held in the strangers right hand, the hammer back ready to fire. Even with the gun already
cocked the would-be attacker was no match for Click’s blinding speed.
edit on 23-3-2015 by Vroomfondel because: (no reason given)